Avoid being a victim of cyber-related crime

Community Garda Damian White advises on the types of scam and fraud attempts the public needs to be aware of and how deal with them.

Gardaí are aware that the recent cyber attack on the HSE has raised concerns amongst the general public. People have genuine concerns regarding the possible leaking of their personal data, and fraudsters and criminals will try to exploit people’s fear and anxieties. 

Please be reassured that the HSE, An Garda Síochána, Department of Social Welfare or other state agencies will never cold call a person looking for you to disclose personal information such as Date of Birth, PPS number, or bank account details. Gardai encourage any member of the public who has reason to suspect that they are the victim of cyber related crime, particularly the recent criminal cyber-attack of the HSE, to make a report at their local Garda station.

Scam and Fraud attempts continue and every person needs to be scam aware. 

Types of scams include:

• Underpayment/ Overpayment for some goods or service

• Eligibility for a refund or Social Welfare payment

• Being investigated in relation to criminal activity

• Possible leak of Personal Information

Anonymous online fraudsters use automated phone calls, texts and emails to contact random persons. These fraudsters have not gained people’s personal information but rely on the current fear and concern amongst members of the public. 

These scams may appear to emanate from official or authentic numbers and have included State offices including allegedly from Garda Síochána numbers. 

If you engage with these callers, during a conversation they may gain your personal information and then use that information to suggest they already knew it, gaining your confidence.

You can check the legitimacy of the caller, by terminating the call and then make contact back, using a publically advertised number for that organisation/agency/company, directly dialled by yourself, DO NOT redial a number.

On receipt of these communications the advice from Gardai is:

• DO NOT engage with the caller

• DO NOT press the number you’re prompted to…1 etc

• DO NOT click on any links in emails or text messages

• Do not download APPs / remote access software

If concerned please contact your local Garda station

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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